Bacteraemia in sickle cell anaemia is associated with low haemoglobin: a report of 890 admissions to a tertiary hospital in Tanzania

Makani J, Mgaya J, Balandya E, Msami K, Soka D, Cox SE, Komba AN, Rwezaula S, Meda E, Muturi D, Kitundu J, Fegan G, Kirkham FJ, Newton CR, Snow RW, Lowe B
Br J Haematol. 2015;171

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Bacteraemia is a leading cause of morbidity in sickle cell anaemia (SCA), but information from studies in Africa is limited. We evaluated 890 admissions from 648 SCA patients at a tertiary hospital in Tanzania. Bacteraemia was present in 43 admissions (4.8%); isolates included Staphylococcus aureus (12/43; 28%), non-Typhi Salmonella (9/43; 21%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (3/43; 7%) and Salmonella Typhi (2/43; 5%). Compared to SCA patients without bacteraemia, SCA patients with bacteraemia had significantly lower haemoglobin [71 g/l vs. 62 g/l, odds ratio 0.72 (95% confidence interval 0.56-0.91), P < 0.01]. Further exploration is needed of the relationship between anaemia and bacterial infections in SCA in Africa.